Friday, April 19, 2013

The Hunt For Red Vinyl

Record Store Day, a global celebration of vinyl in all its 7, 10, and 12 inch glory, is upon us again. The number of recording artists participating has grown over the past five years, and record stores continue to find innovative ways to draw in customers. Those of us willing to get up early tomorrow (Saturday, April 21st) with a Black Friday type of itinerary will have the best shot of snagging those limited edition, colored vinyl releases on our wish lists. There’s a complete rundown of all the one-time treasures being offered tomorrow on the Record Store Day website. 

Depending on the store, customers might also get some free snacks, a bag loaded with promo stuff, and a chance to watch a live performance. The challenge is getting around to the best deals and entertainment that’s out there. WXRT air personality Terri Hemmert joked about needing a helicopter to accomplish that, but a time-traveling TARDIS from Doctor Who would be better. Hemmert will be making an official appearance at the Reggie’s Record store on south State Street tomorrow.

Over at Vintage Vinyl in Evanston, there will be live performances by The Luck Of Eden Hall and Ellis Clark at noon and 1:00 PM, respectively. Artist Steve “Plastic Crimewave” Krakow will once again be at the Reckless Records location on Milwaukee Avenue, doing rock and roll caricatures of any band you want, although it does help if you bring a picture. Reckless has various live bands scheduled at its Broadway and Milwaukee Avenue stores. Dolly Varden has a 2:00 PM gig at Laurie’s Planet Of Sound on Lincoln Avenue.

This week’s edition of The Reader has a lot of good info, and rock critic Thomas Conner had a helpful piece in today’s Sun-Times. It’s also a good idea to go to the various stores’ websites to find out what they’ve got going on tomorrow.

As for the records, there truly is something for everone, including jazz, Country & Western, indie rock, heavy metal, and classic rock. WXRT is jumping into the game with a vinyl version of its Live From The Archives, Volume 14. I couldn’t begin to offer a cross section of everything that’s available, so I’ll just run down some of the ones I’m aching to acquire. That XRT Archives is one; along with the 12” four-song EP Revolution Of The Mind by The dB’s; the Nothing Can Hurt Me double LP by Big Star; The Three O’Clock's Live At The Old Waldorf; David Bowie’s “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” 45; Pink Floyd’s “See Emily Play” 45; The Rolling Stones’ 5 X 5 EP; The Animals’ The Animals Is Here and The Animals Are Back 10” EPs.

Here are a few tips for first-time Record Store Day shoppers:

Get there early. These are rare editions that sell out quickly. Some will already show up on eBay later tomorrow.

Have a list with you. The stores I’ve been to keep all the records behind the counter, and you’ll be in line a while before you’re waited on. If you start to dither, you run the risk of turning the clerk into Soup Nazi, and the people waiting behind you will become a vicious mob.

Prepare for sticker shock. I’ve haven’t been able to find anyplace online that lists prices for these records, and there is a wide range.  Last year, I paid $11 for The Small Faces’ “Itchycoo Park” 45. Other 45s were just a few bucks. An armload of double LPs could cost you a bundle.

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